Thursday, February 11, 2010


Well kids, the word of the day is  BOKEH (bow-keh).

Originating from the Japanese word boke, it's a term describing the blurred element in a photograph.  Using wide apertures creates a narrow focal plane causing the background (and foreground) to be significantly blurred.  This is the quality that makes or breaks a portrait [some room for debate here, just my opinion].

Background lights make great bokeh, in this shot I hung christmas lights on the wall about 5 feet behind the focus point (our faces).  Normally the lights would be circles, which have their own sparkly charm but you can change the shape of your bokeh.  By cutting shapes out of black paper and shooting through them.  I could be mistaken but I believe this only works [well] with fast lenses (wide apertures/low f-stop values).

In this shot I made a heart shaped "iris" out of black paper and stuck it to the front of my 85mm f1/8 portrait lens and...

SHAZAM!  Valentine's Day magic!

[yeah, it's cheezy.  I know]